Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dessert Components

This particular post is the recipe for several components used in a recipe that I will be posting tomorrow.  The recipes have been halved from the original since they make an excess of what is called for.  Even when halving and I still had some inverse sugar left overs.  This component does come in handy when making other things, so I am sure there will not be any waste. These recipes hail from Johnny Iuzzini, a famous four star pastry chef.

The first is the cookies.  These cookies are good for use as a garnish for frozen treats and a base for sorbet, uncooked cheesecake, whipped cream with fruit-and the list goes on.  In using this dough, I found it to be very sticky.  Instead of cutting out the dough and placing it, I had to improvise.  Below are the instructions on how I handled the process.  I used this recipe to make 10 cookies, 2 1/2 inches in diameter, even though the stated amount should have been 8, according to halving exactly.

Graham Cracker Sable Cookies
adapted from Dessert Fourplay

3 tbs flour
1 beaten egg
3 tbs butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 3 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp graham cracker crumbs
2 tbs sugar

Mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar until even distributed and crumbly. Stir in the eggs until blended.  Lastly, fold in the flour, making sure no dry streaks remain.  Place on a floured surface and shape into a brick.  Then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Once the dough has chilled properly, remove and shape into 10 equal and round balls.  Place one ball on the parchment lined baking sheet and place a 5 inch square of parchment paper over the ball.  Using a small pastry roller, roll the ball out into a circle, about 1/8 inch thick.  Then remove the top parchment sheet and place your cutter over the surface.  Press down and remove excess from around the cutter.  Continue
with the process until all cookies are formed.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 12-13 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and let cookies cool on pan for about 3 minutes then transfer to rack to finish cooling.

The second is the simple syrup.  This is a great item to dip fruits in when you want an extra sweetness without impacting the texture and the freshness of the fruit. Also, this syrup does have a long life if kept covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator. The recipe below makes 1 1/4 cups.

Simple Syrup
adapted from Dessert Fourplay

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Combine both ingredients in a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Let come to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour into a heatproof bowl and let cool completely before using.

The third is the invert sugar, which is actually a homemade version of invertase. Invertase is used commercially in the creation of frozen desserts.  At one time, I had posted a note that all homemade ice cream does have a tendency to get icy after a few days in the freezer.  This recipe states that this ingredient is the key to creating a smoother texture in frozen desserts as well as keeping water crystals from forming.  In the recipes I have seen, it does not require very much.  I saw 4 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon per quart of ice cream on a few ice cream recipes.  The recipe below makes a little under 1/2 cup.

Invert Sugar 
adapted from Dessert Fourplay
(below is 1/4 of original recipe measurements)

1/2 cup plus 1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil.  Then turn down the heat and let the mixture actively simmer for about 30 minutes.  This cook time should rid the sugar of any acid taste from the lemon.  You can attempt to taste, but it is very hot.  Let cool for 15 minutes and then taste.  If still acidic, place back on stove and let simmer 5-10 more minutes.  Remove and pour into a heatproof bowl or container.  Let cool completely before using.

Come back tomorrow to see what I make from these components.